Posted on May 6, 2013
Happy sunny Monday!
I realized that I forgot to put a sneak peek image of Erin and Ben’s wedding on my Facebook page, so it’s the perfect time to preview a few of their images on the blog while I finish editing their lovely wedding.
I arrived at the South Carolina Aquarium for the rehearsal dinner under gray misty skies, but with weather.com’s assurance that there was 10% chance of rain until storms rolled in around 11 pm. Usually the chance of rain is overestimated, so imagine my surprise when I noticed guests looking and pointing to something outside the window, and saw this.
As lovely and hospitable as a typical lowcountry sunset is, I think this was actually a more unique sight for out of town guests. I have rarely seen such a perfect storm front roll in, and we had the ideal vantage point.
Erin’s something blue. Aren’t they fabulous?
What downtown destination wedding would be complete without a battery stroll?
And an alley portrait!
Their Peninsula Grill coconut wedding cake was topped with a fun homage to their home city of Philadelphia. I can’t believe I’m admitting this, but I didn’t catch the reference when I was taking the pictures. It wasn’t until I was scrolling through files on the computer that I was like, “Oooooh! I get it! It’s a miniature version of the sculpture in Love Park.”
I got a kick out of that and emailed the Erin to tell her.
I’ll post more sneak peeks as I wrap up editing.
I’ll also be posting a few images of Jordan and Adam’s Wadmalaw wedding this past Saturday on my Facebook page today or tomorrow, so check back over there too!
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Posted on April 15, 2013
So Sabrina and Jason are fabulous. I actually booked their wedding through Sabrina’s wonderful mother, so I didn’t get a chance to meet or talk to them until their wedding day this past fall. However, I could tell right off the bat that they had this great, witty, shared sardonic sense of humor. I’m all about that.
They had a destination wedding in Charleston, with the ceremony at St. Johannes Lutheran Church and then another Indian ceremony at the reception. It was gorgeous, and I was so honored to have the opportunity to be there.
Getting ready at Stella Nova salon in Mount Pleasant:
Lots of family flew over from India, and they all stayed in a wonderful beachfront home on Isle of Palms. Hurricane Irene tried to derail the festivities, but we all just went with the flow.
The whole family blessed the bride before they left for the ceremony.
My second shooter for the day, Bridgit, slowed down her shutter to capture all the graceful whirlwind movement prior to departing for the church.
It started clearing up almost immediately after this. Yay!
St. Johannes Lutheran Church
On to the Mills House!
The bride’s sisters organized a surprise flash mob. Every guest was sent a video of lyrics and dance moves to the Muppets tune, “Life’s a Happy Song”.
So much fun to see all those smiles and reactions!
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Posted on March 28, 2013
The weather’s been a bit flaky lately. (Wimps, the lot of us. We Lowcountry dwellers really prefer daytime temps that don’t dip below 70, or 60, at least.)
I’ve had a few beach photography sessions this month that haven’t really turned out as warm as we anticipated back when we scheduled them.
But my clients are troopers, I’m telling you.
Nicki and her fun, sweet family were visiting from Arkansas, and we had a wonderful time, despite the chilly wind.
Doesn’t Collin have the sweetest little face? Such an adorable boy. His grandfather definitely won the “get natural smiles out of him” contest.
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I love this image from last Sunday’s Boone Hall engagement session. So dreamy!
Head over to my Facebook page to see a few additional images from this session, as well as some cute family sessions I’ve shot over the past few weeks. I’m also still newly enthralled with Instagram, and I’m enjoying learning more about shooting in a new medium.
If you want to check out some fabulous inspiration from some of the most talented names in the photography field, check out the new SWPB Pinterest Boards. Now is the perfect time to follow along and see how these collectively curated boards unfold.
Speaking of Pinterest, we’re sort of on speaking terms again. During the fall wedding and portrait rush, we had to part ways. There was just no time for that fabulously addictive yet time-sucking nonsense. Now, though, I sneak in occasionally. I try to Pin Responsibly. It’s what the Surgeon General would want.
Anyway, as stated on my bio page, I think my Pinterest boards are a great and fairly comprehensive way to get a sense of my personality and style, especially for destination wedding couples who want to see if we’re a good fit.
So imagine my surprise when I got home from a wedding a few weeks ago to a facetious Facebook message from a friend that said, “Those are some beautiful dolphins on Pinterest, Sally!”
I logged on to find that my 7 year old daughter had been assiduously pinning to my boards in my absence, so to someone perusing Pinterest at the time, my activity looked something like this:
Sea World Dolphin
Tacky airbrushed dolphin under the sunset scene
Fantasy island and dolphin scenario with glitter
Even tackier airbrushed dolphin
Seriously, this one leaped right off of a Myrtle Beach t-shirt
I need to look into making her cute little self a private board. Really, no one over the age of 12 needs to be subjected to that.
Let’s erase those images with another dreamy one, shall we?
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Posted on March 13, 2013
I took a little break from my glamorous edit and laundry schedule and took this morning off to play.
After I dropped my youngest off at school, I met my pal Leigh Webber at Starbucks to look at some of her amazingly cool film scans from her trip to Morocco. We saw Amy Kay and Jennings King there as well. Girl photographer power, taking over the place!
Speaking of Leigh, generally when people mention social media outside of Facebook, I put my hands over my ears and sing “lalalalalalaaaaaaaa!!” I don’t trust myself to manage my online time efficiently. But she’s got me hooked on Instagram now, and it’s so much fun.
Here’s my feed if you’d like to follow along! I love following my past and future clients as well.
Then I did a little shopping until it was time to pick up May. I noticed that there’s the cutest little candy and specialty shop in South Windermere called Sweet Gourmet, and knew I had to take her back in.
Here’s our combined bounty:
1) I really wanted the pink snakeskin version of those loafers. Like, realllllly, really. But I was sensible and bought the neutral pair. I told myself I’d buy them if I book a family session or wedding within the next week.
2) If you don’t know about Nicole’s Nutty Goodness, you have to try it. There aren’t many easily portable meals that are filling and healthful. I always keep one in my bag on wedding days.
3) I drink a lot of green tea. I want to like Stevia, but I just don’t. I’d heard about agave nectar as a natural sweetener and I picked up some today. Hoping I like it.
We check on our fledgling garden (tomatoes, cilantro, basil, broccoli, assorted lettuces, spinach, and strawberries). Looks pretty good! The frame is repurposed from a sandbox.
A lickety-split lollipopcentric photo shoot:
And then I returned to finishing up this adorable family’s session.
Still haven’t done any laundry. But it was worth it!
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Posted on March 1, 2013
Earlier this week, a wonderful friend posted this link on my personal Facebook wall, and said,
“This is why I love your wedding pictures.”
Another wonderful friend chimed in;
“Exactly. Sally, your pictures make me want to get married all over again and have you take pics. As I have said before, you have a great knack for catching real emotion and meaningful moments!”
That made me feel awesome, y’all. That’s what it’s all about! That’s why I do this! Truly, I am such a photojournalist at heart. But I also replied that I was mulling it over, and here’s why:
I’ll be honest. I don’t care about your flowers.
Not nearly as much as I care about the way you snuggled into your brother’s shoulder when you guys hugged before the ceremony, or the look on your relatives’ face when your normally reserved uncle breaks it down on the dance floor, like a total boss (who knew he had it in him?), or that moment when your new groom kissed you on the nose on the dance floor.
The Harlem Shake trumps Pantone’s color of the season, hand-holding wins over cufflinks, high-fives are more important than hors d’oeuvres.
Sometimes seemingly superficial aspects of a wedding (in the industry, we call them “details”, meaning anything decorative; anything that sets the theme, from shoes to table settings to cake) are more important than I could possibly imagine if I didn’t know the story behind them.
An heirloom locket. Your “something blue”, if you choose to follow that tradition. Maybe your groom found an idea on Pinterest, (it could happen, right?) and up until then he was lukewarm/confused on the whole wedding planning deal, but after that he took the idea and ran with it.
I had a bride last fall who unexpectedly lost her mother, and they chose to honor her in many ways, including putting her parents’ wedding cake topper and her mother’s pearls under a glass dome on the dessert table.
When my father died, I helped my mother with most of the necessary details.
When we went to pick out the flower doo-bob thingy that covers the casket, I flipped through the book once, then twice, and then glanced over at my Mom with this helpless look, like, “Um, 1997 called and wants its cascading ivy arrangements back…”
There was nothing wrong with their flowers. Lovely people, lovely shop. But it just wasn’t going to happen. I’m sure they thought I was bonkers, but I asked if they’d sell me the foundation piece as well as the flower stems of my choosing. My mother, from whom I inherited my DIY propensities as well as my taste, understood. The staff was super-nice about it.
“Honey, it’s your Daddy,” the owner said. “You do what you want.”
What we wanted was a masculine, Lowcountry and Scottish inspired arrangement, and we used heathery bits and red roses and spanish moss and palm fronds. It was beautiful, but I needed a specific item of foliage to complete the look.
I made my husband drive me all over south Georgia for an hour and 40 minutes in search of “those buff-colored feathery thingies that grow out of pampas grass.”
To a guy, that description sounds like this: “Wah wah waaaah, blahblahblahblah.”
Any other time, he would have been complaining, but what could he do? It was obviously a day for 100% support, so even though it probably took superhuman strength to suppress his sighs and keep his eyeballs from rolling out of his head, he did it, and seeing the images of those flowers makes me smile, thinking about how he activated his hyperpatience powers. I also remember how therapeutic it was, being able to talk to visitors but also having something to do with our hands, and the soothing idle sort of “maybe move that to the left? And fill in a little over there?” chatter added to our collective conversation. There was traditional type of comfort in the midst of deep sadness in reclaiming something that’s typically outsourced and making it very personal.
I also laugh, recalling how many chigger bites I got from the Spanish moss.
Now, I am *so* not saying you should do your own flowers. That’s a potential disaster waiting to happen.
I’m saying that the wedding industry gets way too caught up in the themes and things; of course it does. And typically they should absolutely be secondary to capturing people. But at the end of the day, I can’t and shouldn’t tell you what is and isn’t important to you, on your wedding day. You should be telling me. I don’t want you, as a couple getting married, to ever have to apologize for placing importance on “things”. I want to make sure I really pay attention to those items with lots of personal significance.
If your grandmother picked out your flowers because the color reminded her of her own wedding flowers, 52 years ago, they move higher up on my list of priorities. If your sash was made with your Mom’s wedding gown, I’d love to know, so I can take special care to photograph it up close.
Conversely, if your planner picked out the centerpieces because you didn’t much care one way or another, and they’re fab, but oh my gosh, your college roommate brought her boyfriend and you guys are hoping he’ll propose to her this weekend? I need to know. I’ll get the centerpieces done for sure, but I need to keep a special eye on those two…
Love makes the perfect wedding, for sure.
But communication makes the perfectly captured wedding.
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Posted on February 28, 2013
Amber and Casey are awesome.
Amber is a dental school student at MUSC, and Casey is an airline pilot.
They take their careers very seriously, but they also know how to have fun. I’m a big fan of “work hard, play hard” type people, so I was right at home getting to know them. Their wedding reception definitely reflected the fun side of their relationship!
These are from their engagement session
Getting ready on the big day
Time for the Old Exchange Building reception!
Every once in a while, at a wedding, I realize I’m the only person in the room with no idea what’s going on. I love it when that happens. I just go with it, and enjoy learning something new. Did you know that Hang on Sloopy is the official rock song of the state of Ohio and Ohio State University?
I do now! Here’s the crowd, paying homage.
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Posted on February 14, 2013
Happy Valentine’s Day!
I know, I know…
So cheesy and commercialized.
But you know what? I still love it.
February around here is pretty gray. And brown. Brown and gray. And though I’m a naturally optimistic and cheerful person any month of the year, I will always take a day off from dismal in favor of bright, happy colors, lighthearted things, and chocolate.
I was up early this morning, making these cute little strawberry hearts for my 3 year old’s class. So easy!
I listened to Phoenix while I worked, which for the past few years has been one of my go-to bands for staying peppy during housework or editing.
Here’s a quick recipe tip: these are great dipped into chocolate fondue. Just put good chocolate (I like to use a combination of Ghiradelli chocolate chips), heavy cream (you can also get away with half and half) and a splash of optional liqueur into a crock pot on low, stirring often. You can also use a double broiler if you have one, or a sauce pan nested into a larger pot of simmering water.
Hm. Now that I’ve typed that out, I might pick up ingredients and surprise my husband later on.
Except that he doesn’t like strawberries. That’s OK. He can dip a banana.
If only I had a Huntzler 571 to facilitate fruit preparation…
(If you haven’t seen the spoof reviews of this banana slicer on Amazon, it’s an absolute must. It’s hilarious, but the part that makes me the happiest is that people everywhere are jumping on board and having so much fun with it. I love a good random mega-collaboration. Proof that the country at large hasn’t completely lost our sense of humor.)
I haven’t been allowing myself too much time on Pinterest these days, but I do have a small Valentine’s Day board, filled with pretty things.
And, finally, here are the girls, from little quick impromptu shoots we did last week:
(Templates from the Florabella Collection.)
I hope you all have a great day!
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Posted on January 22, 2013
Last year was a good year.
I laughed, I cried, it was better than Cats!
At a 2012 wedding, I was walking past a groom who was waiting in an alcove for his wedding ceremony to start, in mere minutes. He was a little verklempt, and I raised my camera, then paused, looked at him, and said,
“Is this OK? Or would you prefer privacy?”
And he said, “No, stay. I want the truth. Well… I want the truth, maybe just a little bit more beautiful.”
Yep. That’s why I do this.
The truth, maybe just a little bit more beautiful.
With that philosophy in mind, here’s a look back at some of the sessions and weddings I shot over the year– a good mixture of both candid and posed and/or planned shots.
My goal for 2013 is to shoot candid moments with more intention and purpose, so that I produce single images that can stand alone and tell stories.
Here’s what we did in 2012:
Hung 0ut in the good light
Kissed a little
Got up offa that thang
Showcased the Lowcountry
Modelled for Mom
And called it a wrap!
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Posted on December 31, 2012
Taking a brief work break to actually blog something!
(Just a reminder, I have been updating my Facebook page, so head on over there to see recent work from this fall.
I am also whipping up a 2012 review post, so stay tuned!)
Saturday night, I assisted my lovely friend Leigh Webber with shooting a lovely Wild Dunes wedding.
As I was grabbing the rest of my gear on the way out, I noticed all the flowers being tossed, and I asked if I may have two of the bridesmaids’ bouquets for my girls.
Yesterday I encouraged them to have fun with their “real, live wedding flowers” and they really ran with it!
They crack me up.
You’ll notice that May shaved off part of her eyebrow in the tub. Yeah. Note to self: never leave my razor accessible again, and be relieved it wasn’t worse!
Checking the royal phone
Royal leftover Christmas junk food break.
They dubbed themselves Queen Clarissa and Princess LaRose. They also knighted their brother and made him royal ukelele player.
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